Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Macaroon Mishap

So I have been the worst Daring Baker ever! I was supposed to start my new project of baking and posting something new once a month in August and I have neglected my duties for the past two months! Ugh school was just killing me! So since after missing 3 months you get kicked off I figured I should get to work.
Luckily this month was macaroons! I have always wanted to make these but I've always shyed away because I thought they were extremeley difficult...I mean why else are they really only popular in France? This was a great recipe to start my first time with too, all the ingredients were fairly cheap and you don't need any extra fancy equipment. I really loved this challenge too because you can customize them to any flavor combination you prefer...or even according to the occasion...should have colored these black and orange right?
So these didn't turn out exactly how I wanted but they werent bad. I used strawberry nesquik in the batter which i feel could have been part of the problem with them not rising. Bottom line...they were cute, tasty, and unique; not perfect.
P.S. Don't you LOVE my cookie jar I painted...im a little proud :)
Here's the recipe if any of you want to try them for yourself...
Confectioners’ sugar: 2 ¼ cups
Almond flour: 2 cups
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
2. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
7. Cool on a rack before filling.

Yield: 10 dozen
The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.